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Wilbur beats the bulge!

Meet Wilbur weighing in at 12.2kg - almost two stone! Wilbur was severely over-weight and was then diagnosed with diabetes, but with lots of hard work from his owner and our clinic nurses, (many of whom have undergone advanced training in nutrition) we were successfully able to manage Wilbur's weight loss.

This is Wilbur's story, as told by his owner:

I first met Wilbur when he was 4 years old.

When he was first born, he lived happily with Gill and Martin. Then came Ben and Jack and the household was disrupted. The ultimate upset came when a stray, called Smudge arrived on the scene and was adopted into the family. Wilbur became increasingly stressed out and it was decided a new home must be found.

I had just lost my 17 year old cat, Elsa and had decided that I wouldn’t have another cat. Not for some time at any rate. Well, Wilbur decided otherwise and 1 week later, I was taking him home.

In this new home he didn’t have to run around to get out of the way of children and Smudge. He also convinced us that he was hungry most of the time. He did put some weight on initially but I wasn’t too worried, because Gill told me he had lost quite a bit of weight when he was stressed.

As with humans, the weight went on gradually. Wilbur developed a urine infection – it was then that we discovered he had diabetes. He was put on Hills M/D diet for diabetes, with the thought that it would control the diabetes and reduce his weight. It didn’t! He actually piled more weight on and got to his heaviest at 12.28kg. Despite this my Mum thought he was still very happy. He wasn’t – he walked over to his food bowl and ate and went back to bed. He developed mats of fur, because he couldn’t groom himself properly. He was really grumpy. We reduced the amount of food and he got down to 10.5kg, but the weight loss was very slow and he plateaued. I knew then we had to take a different approach and do something drastic.

We were lucky enough to meet Veterinary Nurse Annie Smedley at the Cheadle practice, [Annie has undergone advanced training in nutrition to become a Royal Canin Pet Health Counsellor] and she put a plan together to change the food he was on to Hills R/D. She worked out the amount of food needed throughout the day and divided this into several amounts, to have the most influential effect for weight loss.

It took just over 2 years, but Wilbur hit his target weight of 6.6kg in September 2012. It was hard-going and we had to be very strict, but it was worth it. Throughout the 2 years, there have been further plateaus, but Annie analysed how we could change Wilbur’s feeding patterns, to increase further weight loss.

As Wilbur is a large male black Burmese (Bombay), he is a sturdy structure and is never going to be less than 6kg. He doesn’t look quite as he did when he was younger because he has some loose skin which swings from side to side when he runs, but he is now beautiful and shiny, healthy and happy. He is now 14 years old and does have some osteo-arthritis in his elbow, from carrying so much weight, but it has allowed him  to enjoy his mad moments of activity with pieces of foil again!

Thank you so much to Miss Withnell for sharing Wilbur's story with us.

If you are concerned about your pet's weight at all, ask to speak to one of our qualified veterinary nurses. They will be happy to give you some advice on your pet's diet and exercise regime and you never know, your pet could be our next success story!

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